More than 110,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been destroyed in Georgia since December 2020
Georgia Department of Health spokeswoman Nancy Needham told CNN that 110,079 doses were destroyed because they were not used.
There are various reasons why vaccines should not be used, according to Nydam, including doses not required after preparation, parent or child refusal, damaged vials, injection leaks and obvious contamination.
Vaccines that use mRNA, as do Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines, have a short lifespan once prepared. Once the Pfizer vaccine is mixed for administration, it will only last for six hours. Health care providers are advised to discard the remaining vaccine after that time.
According to data from the Georgia Department of Health, the damaging doses included thousands from all three approved manufacturers, Moderna, Pfizer BioN Tech, and Johnson & Johnson.
“With more than 8.5 million doses being used in a weapon, that’s a very small percentage (1.4%) that are not used,” Needham said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate of the vaccine waste allowance is 5%, Needham said, so Georgia is well below that percentage.
Georgia’s vaccination rate still lags behind most of the country. According to state data, 39% of the population was fully vaccinated, while 44% had taken at least one dose as of Monday morning.
“Georgia continues to follow best practices for using every possible dose of a vaccine, however, since supply now exceeds demand, we also won’t miss the opportunity to vaccinate someone when they are ready to be vaccinated,” Needham told CNN.